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Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Budějovický Budvar kroužkovaný ležák 12° and kroužkovaný tmavý ležák

(Kroužkovaný ležák 12°)

ABV: 5% and 4.7%
Origin: České Budějovice, Jihočeský kraj, Czech Republic

kroužkovaný ležák 12° straight from the conditioning tank — note security device on glass.

These are the unfiltered, unpasteurised draught versions of Budvar’s flagship golden lager (labelled Budvar Czech Imported Lager in the UK, Czechvar Premium Czech Lager in North America and Světlý ležák in Czech), and the dark beer simply labelled Dark Lager in English. The unpasteurised pale beer is more widely available than it used to be in the Czech Republic, and occasionally pops up at beer festivals and special events elsewhere. The unfiltered version of the dark lager is very rarely seen, but I was lucky enough to sample both in the lagering hall of the brewery itself, drawn straight from a tank.

It was cold in there – the temperature is kept at around 2°C, a few degrees below the ideal drinking temperature – but the qualities of the beer shone through. The first beer, made with Moravian pale malt, poured a cloudy gold with a thick, rich head leaving plenty of lace on the glass. The hops showed through much more clearly than on filtered and pasteurised versions, with a typical Žatec spicy, grassy, lemony note.

A full palate had a comfortingly broad malt character but with a decent hop bite and fleeting lemon and spiced orange notes. A touch of perfumed orange in the finish reminded me of Cointreau, with a crackly bitterness building over more soft malt, and a very light fruity yeast touch.

The second beer was a very dark brown, nearly black, made with Munich, caramel and coloured malts alongside pale. A thick bubbly beige head gave forth a solid dark malt aroma with chocolate and lightly roasted notes. The palate was deliciously rich and soft, with lots of fine chocolate and well matched bittering tones both from hops and roast, softened by subtle raisin fruit.

The grassiness of Žatec hops came to the fore in quite a bracing finish, still with a satisfying chocolate note and gorgeously fresh softness. Both beers are very special in this form but the dark was a real treat.

Read more about my Budvar visit.

1 comment to Budějovický Budvar kroužkovaný ležák 12° and kroužkovaný tmavý ležák

  • David Hughes

    Was in Prague last weekend the standard of both beers was exceptional in U Medvidku as were there own beers. There IPA 6.5% was exceptional.

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